eBay pops up to save the day for harrassed high street shoppers

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You’ve probably noticed ‘pop-up shops’ being talked about more regularly in the media over the last couple of years. Indeed, Manchester’s Spinningfields has been awash with them recently. From bonafide bakery pop-up success Hey Little Cupcake – which went from a small, temporary space on Little Quay Street to a permanent residence next door – to Black White Denim, Hardman Street’s latest temporary boutique.

And it’s not just on our doorstep – now it seems that eBay is getting in on the action too. The online auction site’s first UK pop-up store, on Denton Street in London, will be open for business from the 1st to the 5th of December.

So how will it work? Word has it that shoppers will be able to browse over 200 of eBay’s best-selling items virtually. It won’t quite be business as usual, however, as eBay’s store will have no stock, no tills and no queues. The pop-up will be completely virtual, allowing shoppers to browse items via a tablet computer and pay using the internet.

It may seem ironic that, as increasing numbers of high street brands engage with f-commerce and m-commerce, eBay – which has always been a leader in internet retailing – is turning to a bricks and mortar store. But launching such a store now, in the run-up to Christmas, is a very clever move from eBay.

Targeting the hundreds of thousands of harried, harassed, tired and fed up shoppers currently barging their way through the high street, the store showcases the benefits of online shopping, and in particular, the advantages of doing it with eBay.

Want a queue-less experience? Check.
Want to be able to browse in peace? Whilst having a brew? Whilst not having to drag your screaming three-year-old round with you? Check.
Want to avoid the hassle of carrying your bounty back to the (extortionate) car park? Check.
Want to choose how much you pay for your goods? Check.

It certainly sounds appealing, doesn’t it? And with eBay’s clever timing, I’m sure the stunt will convert more high street die-hards than usual. After all, everyone’s looking for a bit of peace on earth this Christmas – eBay might just have given it to us.